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The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 26, 2006 | Go to article overview
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Byline: The Register-Guard

Governor names Medford writer state poet laureate

Lawson Inada of Medford has been named to a two-year appointment as poet laureate of Oregon.

Inada will be the fifth poet laureate the state has had, and the first to be so honored since William Stafford died in 1983.

`Lawson Inada is a beloved teacher and someone who involves people in reading, listening, and writing poetry," said Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who made the appointment. "He has a long record of involvement in community projects in the arts and humanities, and he has done distinguished work in reclaiming the cultural heritage of Asian-Americans.

`He is a wonderful poet and a great communicator.'

Nominations for the Poet Laureate were solicited from Oregonians.

First lady Mary Oberst chaired an evaluation group of writers, poets and cultural leaders who considered the work of eight nominees.

Inada, a third-generation Japanese-American, was born in 1938 and raised in Fresno, Calif. He is a significant figure in Asian-American poetry and literature.

In his 1994 autobiographical volume, "Legends From Camp," he wrote memorably about his boyhood experience of internment during World War II.

Inada studied writing at the University of Iowa, and then moved to Oregon. He is an emeritus professor of writing at Southern Oregon University, where he has taught since 1966.

He won the American Book Award for "Legends From Camp" and was named Oregon state poet of the year in 1991.

Poets Favilla and Wendt

to read at Tsunami today

Bandon poet Candice Favilla will read from her book "Things That Ease Despair" and Eugene poet Ingrid Wendt will read from her book "Surgeonfish" at 4 p.m. today at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette St.

Born in Chico, Calif., Favilla was reared in a family of almond farmers. She is the first member of her immediate family to have graduated from high school and the first to attend college. Favilla teaches literature and creative writing at Southwestern Oregon Community College in North Bend.

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